Shichi-Go-San Festival

joyalariwoStarred Page By joyalariwo, 19th Feb 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Culture>Festivals

The Japanese are a very festive people, cos there is a holiday every month there! Shichi-Go-San festival is one of such, it is also called the three, five and seven…


Shichi-Go-San is the annual Japanese festival, that celebrates the coming of age for children. To most foreigners, the average Japanese might seem overly superstitious, especially when you consider their penchant for the Maneko neko, well the Japanese also believe that odd numbers are lucky, this is very different from other climes.

Lucky Or Odd Numbers?
Shichi-Go-San festival is linked to three odd numbers and they are three, five and seven and apart from being lucky numbers, these are the ages a Japanese child is expected to come of age. So when a child gets to the age of three, seven or five years, its very important for their parents to organize and celebrate a Shichi-Go-San for them.

Shichi-Go-San Festival In The Past

But as important as the ritual of the Shichi-Go-San festival is, only a few people were allowed to celebrate it for their children, cos in the past especially during the Heian Period, only a selected few such as the royal nobles of court as well as the Samurais were honored, to organize and celebrate Shichi-Go-San for their children.

Fortunately, the arrival of the Meiji period changed it all and any parent who so desired it was allowed to organize a Shichi-Go-San for their child.

The Importance Of Shichi-Go-San Festival

The Shichi-Go-San festival is very important especially for Samurai sons because they normally have shorn hair, so turning five for a boy with samurai lineage means that, he would now be allowed to grow his hair, as well as wear a traditional trouser called Hakama.

Shichi-Go-San is also important for girls too because they can now use the obi instead of the regular cord, to hold onto their Kimonos.

At the age of three, both the Japanese boys and girls celebrate Shichi-Go-San together but as the grow older, their ages will separate them because the boys would celebrate another Shichi-Go-San when they are five years old, while the girls would celebrate theirs when they turn seven.

Dressing Up

The Shichi-Go-San festival begins with each parent dressing up their children in the traditional clothes, such as Kimonos for the girls while the boys would wear the Haori jackets and Hakama. Nowadays some parents dress their kids in festive Western gear but most still favor, the traditional Japanese clothes for such a special occasion.

After dressing up parents would take the kids to the temple, where the priests is expected to offer the special prayers for the Shichi-Go-San day, most of the prayers would center on good health, as well as long life for all the children.


Parents are also expected to continue with the theme of the festival, which is by buying the special Shichi-Go-San candy which is called Chitoseame for their children.

Chitoseame is also called the thousand years candy, it usually comes in white and red colors, it is long and shaped like a stick. Chitoseame candy also comes in bags painted or drawn with Turtles and Cranes.

In Japanese myth, Cranes and Turtles signify longevity, these symbols are very important because they follow the theme for the Shichi-Go-San festival

which is long life, good health and of cos fun for the children. Shichi-Go-San is annually celebrated on the 15th of November

but as important as this festival is, it hasn’t being made into a national holiday

It is only celebrated on the weekends closest to the date.

Photo Credits & Articles

Many thanks to Acyee , Phuong La and Eric for all their photos. For more interesting articles click these links - There is a Public Holiday In Japan for every month.

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Children Festival, Chitoseame, Five, Hakama, Haori Jackets, Heian Period, Japanese Festival, Joyalariwo, Meiji Period, Obi, Samurai, Seven, Shichi-Go-San, Shichi-Go-San Candy, Shichi-Go-San Clothes, Three

Meet the author

author avatar joyalariwo
I am a screen writer who loves reading, watching movies and gardening. I like traveling and meeting people, here's hoping you enjoy my writing as well!

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
3rd Mar 2014 (#)

Perhaps in some ways these traditions are more grounding than societies that have no deeper superstitions.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
3rd Mar 2014 (#)

how lovely and as I have said before I love you pages on Japanese culture...thank you so much...

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author avatar joyalariwo
4th Mar 2014 (#)

As always Carolina, thank you for your lovely comments.

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author avatar sukkran
4th Mar 2014 (#)

glad to know about japanese culture and their traditions. thanks for sharing a wonderful, informative page.

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author avatar joyalariwo
4th Mar 2014 (#)

Thank you sukkran.

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
4th Mar 2014 (#)

Very interesting piece and infrormative as well!

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author avatar joyalariwo
4th Mar 2014 (#)

Thanks Fern.

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author avatar Delicia Powers
4th Mar 2014 (#)

just beautiful joyalariwo...thank you

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author avatar joyalariwo
4th Mar 2014 (#)

The pleasure is certainly mine Delicia, thanks for stopping by.

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